LOCAL VIEW –Is there life after Football?–


(Video credit NFL and Fox News.)

The Monday morning after the Superbowl the parents dropped off their kids at our Farm-childcare looking haggard, and no, I’m not from Atlanta. New England fans were seemingly in a state of serious shock, as not even they expected the come-back they had witnessed. In a dazed way, with stunned expressions, they were replaying the entire game over and over, like the above clip.

In a reply to a friend I gave my view:

“I’ve heard a lot of Monday-morning-quarterbacks say what Atlanta “should have done”, but such 20-20 hindsight is not there, in the heat of the moment. I think a sort of “fog of war” sets in during an actual game, and that is where Belichick is best, because he makes the right choices during crazy-time, when you are not given time to think. Belichick likely would have burned up the clock and run the ball, if in Atlanta’s shoes, but Atlanta was seemingly stuck in the habit of using what had worked before, thinking it would continue to work. It didn’t. They didn’t adjust but Belichick had adjusted. (One of my favorite camera shots was of Belichick jotting notes in a old-fashioned notebook with an old-fashioned pen; [he smashed his newfangled tablet-computer in the middle of a game, two months ago]; he looked as detached as a coach jotting notes in a practice session. Wouldn’t it be fun to get a peek at that notebook?)

Atlanta’s defense was utterly exhausted (or “gassed”, as the player’s say), by the end, as the Patriots had that defense on the field for 40:31 and they were off the field for only 23:27. I don’t think this is an “accident of fate”, because when Belicheck was defensive coordinator of the Giants, and they were up against the high powered offence of Kelly and the Buffalo Bills during the 1990 Superbowl, the Bill’s defense was on the field over 40 minutes. Can it be that Belichick actually plans that, if the opponent is going to score, they will do so swiftly, and their defense will get no rest before it is back on the field?

At the end of the game it looked like Atlanta was still in that “score fast” mode, because it had been easy earlier. They were lured into using the obsolete.

Sort of a strategy similar to “rope-a-dope.”

This sort of post-game analysis, back in my boyhood, was called “the hot stove league”, and was mostly about baseball when there was no baseball to be played due to deep snow, and old geezers were looking forward to the next baseball season, during New England’s interminable winters. Such blather was conducted around hot wood stoves, often in small stores or at the local post office, and likely drove some wive’s mad, as they likely felt husbands could be making better use of their time, (even as some husbands felt their wive’s could cut their phone-calls short.) In any case, since those long-ago days football has stepped in, during December and January at least, and usurped the position of baseball.

The approval or disapproval of spouses does not matter as much as the approval of God, and violent sports like football make me a bit nervous. A person, who I respect greatly, once informed me God really enjoys the sport of cricket. However, once the violence of football is over, I think God likely approves of people sitting about talking about what they have witnessed. Why?

I suppose it is because it is good to appreciate the efforts of others.

I’ve worked well over a hundred different jobs in my time, and you’d be amazed how often the work goes completely unappreciated. For example, next time you hold a bottle of ketchup, look at the label. I was the guy making such labels for ketchup, (and a hundred other bottled things), for all of two weeks one winter. (Yes, I got fired.) It was a horrible, miserable job, for minimum wage, and required a sort of heroism on my part to endure it, (and required heroism on the part of my wife to endure me), but, were there any cheering crowds as I (and my wife) heroically managed to scrape together the funds to feed my children?  Nooooooo….

Look around yourself. You are surrounded by things you take for granted, made possible by people you fail to appreciate. The lights you click on, the toilets you flush, the bread and the butter you eat, all involve toiling people you take for granted. If we had the slightest idea of how beholden we are to others we’d be flush with thankfulness, and far more loving than we actually are. But the thing of it is, we ourselves are too darn busy toiling to appreciate the toil of others, and, if we lift eyes from toil to think at all, it is of how we are the ones who deserves more credit. We are all too often too busy playing the wailing violins of our own self pity. We are as dependent on others as oldsters in  wheelchairs, crabbing that the ride is too rough.

Considering this unflattering portrait is how God likely sees us, I imagine he likes how we become utterly and amazingly different, regarding sports. Suddenly we appreciate the smallest details of other’s efforts. We see the nuances, the quick reactions, and the uncanny element of luck.

The exact same things we obsess about on football fields occur in our own lives. When the cook at our local diner cracks open a bad egg in the middle of the morning rush, it involves all the swift shifts of an athlete in a sporting event. There may be no cheering, and in fact there may be some grousing because orders are temporarily filled more slowly, but the swift recovery rivals the efforts of an athlete. There may be fewer tips, down here in earth, but up in heaven the angels are cheering wildly for the cook.

Remember that, when you next trudge through the drudgery of your day, largely unappreciated. Even if you don’t believe in angels, if you imagine that you are doing your unseen deeds in a stadium, with millions of cheering spectators watching, it has a way of making you, if not feel better, perform better.

As a young artist I used to trick myself in this manner all the time. I might be washing dishes in some slummy dive, but I figured a million were watching me. How?  Well, I figured it was only a matter of weeks before I’d be “discovered”, and my poems would sell a million copies, and all of a sudden many, many fans would want to know about my past life. Therefore, as I washed dishes, a million fans were watching me. And I tell you, few have ever washed dishes as I did, with such flair and pizzazz, flipping plates like pancakes and singing odd opera. (If nothing else, it made a dull job far more fun, and made me a fun fellow to work with.)

In the case of the Superbowl, there actually are millions watching, and appreciating every move, not only during the event, but afterwards. In some cases the efforts are appreciated decades afterwards. The nuances of fate, uncovered and discovered long afterwards, are all the more fascinating when the internet allows the “hot stove league” to involve a heck of a lot more people than, in the old days, you could fit in a post office or hardware store.

For example, regarding the Superbowl of a few days ago, I heard, during discussion of Belichick in the 1990 Superbowl which pitted the Giants against the Bills, that Belichick was the defensive coordinator, but the offence wide-receiver coach was  Tom Coughlin, who later became the head coach of the New York Giants, and is the only coach to ever defeat Belichick in a Superbowl (twice).

The fact that the coach of that 1990 New York Giants team, Bill Parcells, was able to recognize the genius of two young assistant coaches, could be the subject of a long, long article in a sports-section written by sports fanatics for sports fanatics. Me? I’ll cut things short, and just say Bill Parcells, when at the height of his powers, was able to do the thing this post is about:  Appreciate.

One thing I appreciate about modern times is what I spoke of before: The “hot stove league” has become enormous. One thing I investigated, on my computer, was “fan reaction”. You likely could spend hours just watching video of fans experiencing the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, and in some cases it is hard to tell the difference. New England fans collapse to the floor sobbing in victory, as Altlanta fans go insane with hysterical laughter.

Then you can likely spend days watching the “experts”, both on high-powered network sites and on small-time individual sites, indulge in post-game analysis, reexamining every play in minute detail.

The first is emotion and the second is intellect, but both appreciate.

Me?  I must be getting old, for I don’t care so much about winning as I used to. I’m more interested in the sport than who wins, and also sometimes more interested in the fans than the players.

Because I run a Farm-childcare, some of the fans I deal with are very young. The children who are under five could care less about sports, but around age five kids become fans, in a very unrealistic, dreamy way. For example, they think their Dad could outrun any player in the NFL. There is no cotton-picking way I am going to disillusion them. However they also seem to think I myself am nearly as amazing as their Dad, and that I myself could also play in the NFL, and I need to find some gentle way of disillusioning them.

In the world of Childcare and so-called Childcare Professionals, 97% of the people children meet are women. Therefore, as a male, I need only to walk in the door and I am immediately as welcome as a rock star. Because, even in nature, baby gorillas want to romp with a mean-looking daddy gorilla, if I so much as stoop to tie a child’s shoe I may get blind-sided by a kid who wants to tackle a daddy, for I am a temporary father-figure, and romping with daddy is natural. If I crouch down on creaking 63-year-old knees to help a kid with a puzzle, it is not unusual to immediately feel two or three kids climbing on my back. I feel like a quarterback in a blitz, and Freud would likely be cross-eyed about the physical contact involved. But, because I am hale and hearty for my age, I arise undamaged by the attention, and the children think I am a NFL star.

Over the years I’ve developed a way of entertaining children’s hero-worship, while deflating it with a dose of reality. For example, I may say that Tolkien stated certain trees are “Ents,” and that a maple over there used to stand over here, and that, if they don’t believe me, they should ask their Dad. Then the child returns to tell me, “My Dad says there is no such thing as walking trees!” I figures this teaches them to double check their teachers, and also to go to their fathers for advice.

By the time a child goes to kindergarten at age five they have learned to laugh at some of my tall tales. For example, I tell them, “Me and George Washington used to chop down cherry trees together, and, back when we went to school, school buses hadn’t been invented, and me and George had to ride to school on the back of a yellow dinosaur.” I always add that, if they don’t believe me, they should ask their Mom and Dad. I figure that, if nothing else, parents get a laugh.

It was in this spirit that my most recent tall tale involved Belichick using me, as number 99, on his kick-off team, in the upcoming Superbowl. I told the kids to look for the old 63-year-old guy with the gray beard sticking out from his helmet, running down the field. For some reason not a child doubted this was possible. After all, it is their experience that they can’t tackle me, so how could they know I’d be less in a Superbowl?

I waited expectantly for a laughing parent to tell me his child had asked if I was going to be in the Superbowl, but life got hectic, and it never happened.

After the Superbowl the parents were arriving late, so utterly drained by the unbelievable game they we in no condition to drive, let alone go to work, so I did not bring up the subject of whether or not I played in the Superbowl. But, with the kids, I asked, “So, did you see me?”

I let on that it “might” have been in the third quarter that the genius of Belichick had me out there on the field, gray beard sticking out from my helmet, as a “trick play”, and that I was so upsetting to the Atlanta Falcons that they couldn’t score again, adding, “If you don’t believe me, ask your father.”

I’m still awaiting feedback, with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek. My aim is to make the parents enjoy a good laugh.

On a more serious note, I’d like to remind people that, as incredible and superb as the athletes in the Superbowl are, (and they are superb beyond belief), they are but adults playing a child’s game. The adult game adults play is far more serious, and the players deserve far more appreciation. And if you do not believe me, ask the “Father” who is not your physical father, but the One called the “Truth”.



Peanuts Comic

It is not merely the physical science behind Global Warming Alarmism that is rotten; the social science is equally rotten. The fiasco involves both the Sciences and the Arts. You cannot stick merely to facts, and avoid the topic of morality. Therefore this examination of the mutated ethics behind Global Warming Alarmism must begin with a very long digression, involving sportsmanship.

I have always admired good losers, because I am not one. For years I have made a New Year’s Resolution to become a better sport, but can’t keep the resolution. It only took me forty years to quit cigarettes, but quitting bad sportsmanship will take me longer.

Perhaps the roots are genetic, and boil down to owning an inherently bad temper, which my older brothers thought was amusing, when I was small. I was easy to disarm, so they would enrage me on purpose, just to see me dash off to the kitchen and come back at them with a carving knife. Then I grew as big as they, and my temper was no longer so amusing. The larger brother became more cautious when he teased, and the smaller one took a course in karate.

It wasn’t fun being a bad sport. I couldn’t lose a game of checkers without my rage uplifting me and sending me stomping about the room, wildly thrashing and accusing the other person of cheating. The only one who would play checkers with me was a special sort of person who was able to say, “You’re right. I cheated. You win. Want to play again?” (He did this so he could beat me again.)

When I grew to be a teenager I found it hard to keep a girlfriend, as most girls don’t particularly like childish displays of temper. But I do remember one diminutive girl who sort of liked beating me at tennis, despite my poor sportsmanship. I relied on brute strength, and towered above her, but she’d been to several tennis camps, owned something called “skill”, and I never could beat her.

The games always began with me saying I didn’t want to play, but she’d guilt me into playing by saying exercise was good for me and tennis was fun and something we could do together (when I was only interested in something else we could do together), so I’d wind up playing, and getting beaten. Sometimes the games began close, because I was much stronger and smashed the ball so hard she could barely see it, but as I tired my inaccuracy increased, and soon I’d be drenched in sweat while she looked cool as a cucumber, and my shots would start to stray and be “out”, and I’d get really mad, which always caused her to try very hard not to smile. That made me really, REALLY mad, so my next shot would be clear over the fence, which might be good in baseball, but in tennis it meant that once again a midget had beaten me.

I tried to explain to women that the reason I raved was because I was “sensitive”, and an artist, and not because I was a really bad sport. Amazingly, this sometimes worked, but not for all that long.

Another excuse for stomping about and raving was that I owned a “healthy competitive instinct”. This worked with the football coach, but not very well with women. Come to think of it, it didn’t work very well with my fellow artists, either, for back in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s being competitive was not “hip”. It wasn’t “mellow”, “layed-back”, (and other words no one uses any more). In fact among artists having a “healthy competitive spirit” meant you were aggressive, a militant “hawk”, and a loser.

This exposed me to a perplexing ambiguity, for artists tended to be a collection of losers to begin with. They tended to flunk all their classes and never went out for sports. The only way they could see themselves as winners was to totally redefine everything, and to call winners “losers”, and to call losers like themselves “winners”. (Do not ask, “What about the production of actual art?” Being an artist back then was more a matter of who you hung out with, and where you hung out, and how you wore your beatnik beret, and, increasingly, what drugs you took.)

A shocking number of these friends of mine died young, either due to drugs or to AIDS, which would tend to suggest that when you are a loser you do lose, were it not for the fact that the survivors of this morally twisted collection of winners-are-losers nitwits are now running our nation, which is why my experience among losers is valuable, even though I myself was not very good at being a loser, and in fact was a bad loser.

Initially I had the required attributes of being a loser: I got poor grades and did badly on the teams I bothered to go out for. However I was a very bad sport about it. Then, as I gravitated towards artists, I discovered I was a loser even among the losers. I was a very bad sport about that as well.

It made me realize I was after something that the winners were not after, and the losers were not after. I needed to do some redefining of my own. Just as my fellow artists had redefined themselves as winners, despite being losers, I needed (simply to muster the self-esteem necessary for my egotistical survival), to redefine myself as a winner, despite the fact I was bad at winning and bad at losing.

Such a redefinition is no small matter. It has taken me half a century. Therefore you will have to forgive me if I digress yet again and take up a little less than a half-century of your time.

The pride and shame of New England is that we seemingly have a habit of redefinition. Sometimes the redefinition is a shining advance, and sometimes we fix something that wasn’t broken, and sometimes it is both. Both good and bad ideas have unintended consequences.

It continued long after the Boston Tea Party sparked a Revolutionary War, where the good idea of Liberty cost the young nation 1% of its population. A half-century later Oliver Wendell Holmes demanded doctors wash their hands (a decade before Louis Pasteur got the credit for discovering germs), and inadvertently this caused a crisis in the Church at a time when New England was the “Bible Belt,” (because germs were an invisible power other than God.) Not long after that other redefiners pushed the radical idea that slavery should be abolished in all places, which rather than mere paper legislation inadvertently led to the horrible slaughter of the Civil War, which cost nearly as many American lives as all the nation’s other wars combined.

And so it has continued, on and on, into my boyhood, where Timothy Leary advanced ideas about Liberty involving sex and LSD, inadvertently involving tragic consequences that many of us have seen play out with our own eyes, involving people we cared (and care) for deeply.

In conclusion, redefinition is no laughing matter, and nothing to take lightly. You can’t blithely reform things like the Ten Commandments or the American Constitution, without facing reverberations of a magnitude that is far from blithe.

To return to the topic of sports, as a boy I noticed New Englanders tend to be less athletic than the rest of the nation, perhaps due long winters stuck indoors, and perhaps due to an overdose of colleges and universities. New Englanders tend to be intellectual, rather than physical. Back in the last century the idea was that the only way New England could have a good sporting team was to invent a new sport. And this was proven by the fact that, during my boyhood, New England had among the nation’s worst baseball, football, and hockey teams, however we invented basketball, and had the best team for a while, before the rest of the nation figured out how to play better than our star Bob Cousy (who was ambidextrous and could amazingly (for that time) ball-handle with both hands!!!) (Nearly every player does that now.)Bob Cousy 122303Photo_Cousy

Considering I was a bad loser, it was rough to grow up last century, and be a boy supporting the last-place Red Sox, last-place Bruins, and last-place Patriots. You might think that, since I had so much experience supporting last-place teams, I would have become a better loser, but it didn’t work out that way. Instead it fed an intense craving within me to win.

I think this is how the psyche works. When we experience loss we replay it in our minds. The psychologists may call it “Post Traumatic Stress”, but we are replaying the films of the past game, noting the mistakes, and planning to play better in the next game. We own a craving to improve.

I often see this manifest the morning after the Patriots have lost a close football game. When I open our Farm-childcare, I get to see the state young parents are in, in the dusk before dawn, and after a Patriots loss many look haggard as they drop off their kids. They have suffered insomnia, as their mind kept replaying crucial plays, and they agonized over the details. Usually it is the young men who care about football, but the young wives suffered as well, for they had to sleep with the thrashing, kicking, sighing, muttering insomniacs. And of course I am able to empathize and commiserate, for I am the worst loser of them all.

This agony of defeat does not seem to be truly slaked by the thrill of victory. This century has seen New England win more than its fair share of championships, and an entire generation has grown up without a clue of what it was like to be a New Englander last century, but if anything championships have only increased the craving for victory, and made the agony of defeat worse. What’s more, if you win too often you become despised.darth-sidious-bill-belichick

Just as I used to stomp around raving and accuse friends of cheating when I lost at checkers, New England fans have discovered winning means you get accused of cheating. Cheaties 48971be54e96c1119e28f275122c9f4c_belichick_cheaties

It is interesting to stand back from all the emotion inherent in the agony of defeat, and see what actual improvements come from the pains of Post Traumatic Stress. One thing that becomes swiftly apparent is the importance of the rules. As one devises new and improved trick plays, one must constantly refer to the rulebook, to make sure the adjustments are legal. For example, one option that springs into my mind, during the agony of defeat, is to shoot the opponents. There is nothing in the NFL rulebook prohibiting this (I checked) however that isn’t the only rulebook we need to refer to.

And here’s where it gets interesting. It turns out that the rules we actually write down in the rulebook, for any particular sport, are but a dim reflection of higher and greater laws, which are “self evident”. These laws can be divided into two basic types. There are physical laws, such as the law of gravity, and then there are spiritual laws, which people tend to be a little squeamish about discussing.

In the case of football the physical laws come up because the amazing athletes push their physical limits. The spiritual laws come up when we attempt to keep them from hurting themselves too badly, and because we should care for these amazing men after they have sacrificed their bodies (and sometimes brains) and are crippled.

In the case of politics, and especially the politics of Global Warming, the exact same factors come into play, though some might protest politics is not a sport. But politics does involve winners and losers, and a rulebook called our laws, and the temptation to “amend” the laws, and to “redefine” how the game is played, and even what constitutes “winning”. It requires we be civil, if we are to call ourselves “civilized”, and that we follow certain set procedures we call “civil procedures”. And here again we see two basic types of laws that restrain man within certain limits: Physical laws and spiritual laws.

The physical laws are easier to deal with, because they are more obvious, though not always clear to a layman. They involve science and engineering, and require scientists and engineers to explain some of their less obvious details. For example, I once had a friend who wanted to install a huge hot tub up in her bedroom; despite the fact her plumber worried about the pressure this put on the drains. She learned to listen, after a major flood downstairs. Physical laws represent Truths that will not be mocked.

Spiritual laws are harder to deal with, because they often run counter to more selfish laws that politicians deal with, that are tantamount to a sort of Law Of The Jungle. For example, a politician needs to curry favor among constituents, and this sometimes tempts them to hand out money and jobs inappropriately, with the money diverted from the people and the job it was earmarked for. In the case of the levees of New Orleans, very little of the money Washington sent to improve the levees was actually spent on the levees, while a lot went to various sorts of “inspectors”, and to lawyers involved in endless environmental lawsuits. The result of this was that, when Katrina arrived, the levees were not ready to hold back the flood. It did not matter that the Law Of The Jungle had been obeyed, when The Law Of Nature arrived.

Politicians always claim they need more money, but money is useless if corruption misappropriates it. Few projects have involved cost overruns as insanely huge as Boston’s “Big Dig”, but the vast expense couldn’t change the result when substandard materials were used, resulting in a dangerously leaky tunnel that has already killed a driver with a roof collapse. Bostonians were happy when there were lots of jobs and Federal funds were being flung about, but they will be less amused when a tunnel-collapse cuts their city in half.

The Law Of The Jungle seems smart in the short term, but in the long term Truth will not be mocked. It is for this reason the Navy conducts trials. They will not trust a ship given to them by bureaucrats. The last high-speed troop carrier delivered to the Navy had its bow cave in, the first time it was tested in heavy seas. You don’t want to discover a shortcoming like that in the middle of a war.

It is hard to have such a trial when you are building a bridge, and it is embarrassing to all concerned when a brand new bridge has a structural failure, as occurred recently with the Nipigon Bridge in Canada. Glitches like that are suppose to be seen and ironed out when things are still in the planning phases, and not after a bridge is already built.

The sad fact of the matter is that we are likely to see more of these costly mistakes, not fewer, as long as we allow the political Law Of The Jungle to rule science and engineering. The sooner we erect some sort of barrier between politics and science the better off we will be.

This seems unlikely to occur until people recognize they can’t take the money and run. There seems to instead be the attitude that it doesn’t matter if levees fail in New Orleans, tunnels collapse in Boston, and bridges close in Canada, as long as one can retire safely to Florida. People think they can escape the consequences.

However this implies there are consequences, and some are not even willing to admit that. They assume they are the winner in a situation that causes others loss, and that others are the losers. They think that if there is karma to face or hell to pay, others will face it, as they sit back, eat cherries, and laugh last.

This is not how the Law Of The Jungle works. The king of the jungle doesn’t get to retire to Florida. The moment he shows any sign of weakness, he faces the jungle-consequences of weakness, of aging. Only a civil society cares for their elderly, or even allows the elderly to become philanthropists. In the jungle, as soon as you weaken, all your wealth is taken. That is just the way it works, when you abandon civil procedures and ignore spiritual laws.

Because of this some adopt a splendid hypocrisy, wherein they ignore civil procedures while amassing their fortune, but as soon as they have their hoarded pile they become very, very interested in the very same civil procedures they once so blithely ignored. Few onlookers buy this double standard, (though some will nod and put on an agreeable face, if paid a high enough salary). Gradually the hypocrite experiences a dawning, painful to behold, wherein they move from calling others suckers to realizing who the sucker actually was.

It turns out civil society is based on spiritual laws involving fairly simple concepts, such as being a good neighbor, and that it is better-to-give-than-receive. Some lawyers might scrutinize the scriptures of various lands and say it is only better-to-give-than-receive ten percent of the time (because “tithe” means “ten percent”), but nearly all religions include the concept of “charity”. However it is when examining the concept of “charity” that the most horrendous hypocrisy and most stupendous violations of spiritual law are seen.

The simple fact of the matter is that you are not supposed to get richer if you give. If you have a hundred credits and give ten percent, you are suppose to only have ninety credits left. Therefore you should be highly suspicious if you notice the giver winds up with three hundred credits. That money is coming from somewhere, and more often than not it is stolen from the very poor the charity was suppose to be helping in the first place.

I will not belabor you with countless examples of people who claim they are spiritual, and helping the widows and orphans, the sick, the oppressed, and those in prison, yet who wind up wealthier, even as those they claimed they would help wind up worse off. I’m certain you can think up examples of this gross hypocrisy on your own. What I would like to propose is that such behavior is actually the antithesis of charity, and a major violation of spiritual law.

It seems to me that, just as an engineer cannot mock physical Truths, people who work outside the sciences cannot mock spiritual Truths. In both cases the mocker will face a day of reckoning. Brown stuff will hit the fan. In the case of do-gooders, fewer and fewer will be persuaded by the altruistic arguments of the ones who claim they do-good. People disbelieve that glib altruism, when the speaker resembles a fat tick bloating off the lifeblood of a nation.

Rather than depressing you with examples of people involved in Global Warming discussions who resemble fat ticks, I think it would be less depressing to revert to contemplating young artists, and their losers-are-winners attitude.

When you come right down to it, art is very rarely a way to get rich. For 99.99% of all artists, giving the gift they were given is a form of charity, for the artists does not see much material gain. Even if they get some money thrown into their guitar case, as they play on a sidewalk, they could likely be making far more money hammering nails at a construction site. And many others do not play, or paint, or compose, or write, in public at all. They sing for their family, or friends, or in a church choir. They give for the joy of giving. That may be why poets are defined, in Sufi humor, as “proud beggars”.

This underscores the fact that the benefit of art, and all gift-giving, and all charity, is not a thing measured in dollars. Unfortunately, a very few artists, perhaps .01%, are so amazingly good that they do make piles of dollars. In my generation the example of this was the Beatles. By being successful they inadvertently gave the other 99.99% the false hope that they too might someday be millionaires, and “winners”. However the Beatles made their money by being more honest than most, and one truth they dared to sing was that that they were not the winners they appeared to be.

I sure wish I got paid millions for publicly confessing I’m a loser, but it hasn’t worked out that way for me, or for the other 99.99% of all artists. The real “pay” for art is in the joy of giving. This is why we speak of “playing” a guitar rather than “working” a guitar. The funny thing is that when you inform many young artists that they will not get paid as much as the Beatles for playing, they say, “Then the heck with it,” in which case they were not really artists. They were in it for the money, which makes them con artists. (Other artists get a Real Job to make money, but continue their art for joy, which is described by saying they have a “vocation” and an “avocation”).

The fact of the matter is that there is a distinction that needs to be made between the Arts and Sciences, but many of my generation failed to make it. Somehow they got it into their heads that giving should make you materially rich, and that charity should be profitable. What is more, they took steps to make charity lucrative, even though that violates spiritual law and is strangely grotesque, like a nursing mother with coin-slots on her breasts.

One .01% artist was Bono of “U2”, who became rich and famous enough to be asked to give the commencement address at a major American university, and he told our youth, “Every age has its massive moral blind spots. We might not see them, but our children will.”

I think that future generations will look back at Baby Boomers, and will be stunned by our delusion that giving should gain the giver material wealth. It doesn’t. The wealth gained through giving is measured in joy. However so insistent are some that money must come from charity that they will ignore all the evidence so freely given by Reality, when one foolishly ignores physical and spiritual Truths. Truth will not be mocked, but when faced with the complete bankruptcy of their beliefs, some will just print more money.

“Just print more money.” Isn’t that the sign of a counterfeiter? To me it is also the sign of a bad loser, who can’t even admit that he or she lost the game with Truth.

(I could give countless examples from the history of Global Warming Alarmism of how individuals have lost the game, both in terms of physical laws and spiritual laws, but as this essay is already too long, I’ll leave the giving of specific examples to others.)

(Anthony Watts graciously posted this essay on his site:  http://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/02/07/a-note-about-bad-losers-and-global-warming-on-super-bowl-sunday/ )


Darth Belichick

I was so completely disgusted by the nonsense being spouted by the reporters on sports radio regarding the inflation of footballs that I vowed to listen to no sports radio until the Superbowl. However the ridiculous hubbub can’t be escaped so easily. Even when I tried to escape into the world of weather maps, I discovered both of my favorite meteorologists, Joe Bastardi and Joseph D’Aleo, had posted on the topic of “inflategate”.

Interestingly, they both brought up, in a far more scientific manner than I am capable of, what I brought up in my post:  https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/meteorological-explanation-belichick-deflation-psychological-explanation-reporters-inflation/

I simply stated that I’d noticed that the balls on my Childcare playground lost pressure when they got cold, and regained it when the were warmed again. No one was removing air or adding air. I stated reporters ought do a bit of research, rather than leaping to conclusions.

Joseph D’Aleo did far better, by quoting someone from:


Science teacher here. Given the conditions of the game, a ball which meets specifications in the locker room could easily lose enough pressure to be considered under-inflated. Some math:

  • Guy-Lussac’s Law describes the relationship between the pressure of a confined ideal gas and its temperature. For the sake of argument, we will assume that the football is a rigid enough container (unless a ball is massively deflated, it’s volume won’t change). The relationship is (P1/T1) = (P2/T2), where P is the pressure and T is the temperature in Kelvins.
  • The balls are inflated to between 12.5 and 13.5 psi at a temperature of 70 degrees Farenheit (294.1 K). Let’s assume an average ball has a gauge pressure of 13 psi. This makes the absolute pressure of the ball 27.7 psi (gauge + atmosphere). Since these are initial values, we will call them P1 and T1.
  • The game time temperature was 49 degrees F (278 K). We are attempting to solve for the new pressure at this temperature, P2. We plug everything into the equation and get (27.7/294.1) = (P2/278). At the game time temperature, the balls would have an absolute pressure of 26.2 psi and a gauge pressure of 11.5, below league specifications.

*Furthermore, given that it was raining all day, the air in the stadium was saturated with water vapor. At 70 degrees, water has a vapor pressure of 0.38 psi. The total pressure of the ball is equal to the pressure of the air inside the ball and the vaporized water in the ball. At 49 degrees, the vapor pressure of water is 0.13 psi. Up to 0.25 additional psi can be lost if the balls were inflated by either the team or the refs prior to the game. Granted, it’s unlikely that anyone would inflate balls from 0, but it easily could cost another couple hundredths of a psi in pressure.

  • For a ball that barely meets specifications (12.5 psi gauge), it’s pressure would drop to 11.1 psi during the game… enough to be considered massively underinflated. 

(The discussion proceeds from there, and makes for some interesting reading. However most sports reporters didn’t even consider this possibility. They leaped to the conclusion air had to have been removed from the ball.)

The stupidity of the reporters is emphasized by their conclusion that the balls were weighed, rather than the air pressure measured. Some actually thought a football weighed 12.5 pounds, but Tom Brady was throwing balls that only weighed 10.5 pounds, (when in all likelihood the balls he threw were rain-drenched and made heavier, though not pounds heavier)

How could reporters be so stupid? It takes no brains to hoist a ten pound weight in a weight room, and know it weighs more than a football. (I assume sports reporters spend some time in weight rooms, even if they themselves don’t exercise.) It seems even the logic of personal experience went into abeyance.

Another thing I’ve seen through personal experience involves water condensing inside a ball. I notice this at my Childcare when we blow up balloons. The water vapor in breath, (which you notice making puffs of steam on winter mornings when you breathe out), can form drops on the inside of the balloon on cool days. I imagine air made steamy from hot showers in a locker room might do the same thing, inside a football, as a football cooled. This would cause another drop in pressure, (and is what clamps the lids of canning jars down, if you happen to be a person who cans vegetables, but I don’t suppose sports reporters do that.)

In any case, there are plenty of things that can cause a football’s pressure to drop, without anyone releasing any air.  The question then becomes, “Was this done intentionally?”

Another question might be, “Even if it was done intentionally, is it illegal?”  After all, if the balls pass muster, they have passed muster, haven’t they? Until the rules are written to specifically ban balls that lose pressure as they cool, one could conceivably fill a ball with hot steam, so they were at 12.5 psi when passing muster, but flat as a pancake when they reached the field, and they still would be legal.

I wish Belichick or Brady had said that. Oh, the howling that would have ensued!  People dislike the fact that, when people strive for excellence, they test the rules as they test the limits. However I think it goes further. People, especially underachievers, just plain dislike overachievers.

For example, in the hysteria about the inflation or deflation of footballs, everyone assumes it helped Brady throw better. The actual data shows he threw worse with the under-inflated balls, including an interception. Therefore, if one is going to leap to the conclusion conspiracy was involved, why not leap to the conclusion someone was attempting to sabotage Brady’s ability to throw? Why not imagine some sinister gambler bribing the ball boy to fill the balls with hot, moist air?

Why not? Because it doesn’t fulfill the childish need some have to belittle excellence:


Cheaties 48971be54e96c1119e28f275122c9f4c_belichick_cheaties As I have watched this “deflategate” stupidity play out, I can’t help but think I am actually watching a bunch of bad losers. I’ve tried to watch it from afar, but it seems to be wherever I turn. People seem to have grown up in a cushy America where everyone gets trophies at award ceremonies, so no ones feelings will be hurt, and therefore people have developed no resistance to loss, and have no resiliency, and simply can’t stand it, and must savage those who win.

If you can’t stand loss then you can’t stand life. Life is full of loss. This is especially obvious as you get older, and dear friends pass away. However that does not diminish the beauty of the gift life is, nor erase the real reason for living.

What is the real reason for living? Well, I am not going to launch into that sermon, tonight. However I will say that both Belichick and Brady know all about losing. Hasn’t anyone noticed they have gone a while without winning a Superbowl? It hasn’t stopped them from pressing on, or seeking to excel. Nor have I heard them screech at the people who have beat them, “You cheated!”

Losing is a part of the game, and if you can’t take it you shouldn’t get involved. This is something I teach the children at my Childcare. When we eat a carrot I make sure they know a carrot lost its life, and when we roast pork over the fire I make sure they remember the pig. However the clearest example of losing I can give them involves the game of checkers.

Though my Childcare emphasizes the outdoors, sometimes the weather is so awful we stay in, and sometimes I teach the little ones to play the game of checkers. Usually I teach them to play each other, but quite often they want to play me. If I can’t avoid it, I play them, and beat them.

Admittedly a shred of egotism may be involved in the fact I remain undefeated, when it comes to playing checkers with children under age seven, (through there have been some mighty close calls), for I am seldom a winner in other areas of my life. However my aim is to counter the belief that children should always be encouraged by sheltering them from the fact life involves loss.

Loss hurts, but so does skinning your knee. I don’t think childhood should be bubble-wrapped, and think skinned knees are part of a healthy childhood. As is the pain of losing.

Sometimes, as I inform a child I have just beaten them at checkers, they turn their innocent face up to mine, and it winces with the pain of loss, and twists to rage, and they yell at me, “You Cheated!”

What do I then tell them?

Oh for goodness sake! You are not a five-year-old! If you don’t know the answer to that, you need to stop and do some thinking.

That is what I think a lot of Americans need to now do. Too little of “escapegate” involves rational thought, and too much involves the mentality of a witch hunt. It likely should be renamed “hategate.”

People need to take a hard look in the mirror, and understand where this sort of hysteria leads. It led to six million Jews dead. It led to Jesus crucified.

Not that Brady and Belichick are saints, but I have noticed something. It is not the people who have struggled through many losses to excel at something who are screeching Brady and Belichick should be punished. Rather it is the losers.

Losers need to know it is OK to lose, and also that the escape is to admire and emulate the winners. It does not make a loser better to attack those who are better.

Meteorological Explanation–Belichick Deflation—Psychological Explanation—Reporter’s Inflation

Belichick MTE5NDg0MDU1MzM2MDI3NjYz

Every fall, on the mornings when when the weather first gets cold, the inflated balls children play with at our Farm-childcare sag and become downright flabby.  It is particularly noticeable in September, when the weather can be quite variable in New England, and the balls can be flabby in the crisp, frosty coolness of a 32° morning, and tight and bouncy in the heat of an 80° afternoon.

Therefore, when I first heard of all the fuss and bother about “Belichick”s Balls,” the very first thing that sprang into my mind was that the balls were inflated in a over-heated weight room, where the temperature was 78°, and then brought out into a windy and rainy night where the temperature was down near 40°.

Not only would the footballs be cooled by the temperature, but a sort of “wet-bulb” temperature, (lower than the actual temperature), would be reached by the fact the footballs were wet, and in the wind, and, due to the fact available heat becomes latent heat when evaporation occurs on a wet surface, (whether it be your skin after a swim, or a football on a rainy night,) further cooling would cause the air to “shrink”, or contract. No “deflation” is involved in such science. No air enters or leaves the balls.

In conclusion, if the balls were at the low end of the legal limit, when they were indoors at 78°. they would become “illegal” when moved outside, where it is over thirty degrees colder.

This seems a logical thing to consider, if one is a bumpkin farmer, or if one has a sixth grade science education.

The fact not a single sports reporter has brought this up reveals far more about the IQ of sports reporters than it does about the morality of a successful football coach like Belichick.

Using simple science, we can infer sports reporters are more stupid than bumpkin farmers, and lack a sixth grade science education. If any inflation is involved, it does not involve footballs, but rather the egos of reporters.

I challenge all reporters to defend their gross failure to investigate subjects properly, before reporting. In all honesty, they display the mentality of Junior High school schoolgirls who care more about who they are seen with, than whether that person has a shred of morality, credibility, or decency. Just as a thirteen-year-old girl lacks the life-experience to know that to be seen walking with some guy who has status, some “Quarterback” or some “A-student” or some “Star-of-the-drama-club” or some “whatever-has-status-this-week” means very little, reporters sell their souls for what means very little.

This is the only explanation I can come up with for the fact reporters completely ignore issues that matter, and instead focus on making mountains out of molehills.

The science of “Global Warming” is one of the greatest hoaxes in the history of mankind, involving high officials in governments all over the world, but will reporters investigate it?  No, instead they make mountains out of molehills, screaming like old ladies screaming at a mouse, when a quite ordinary big snowstorm occurs.

I challenge reporters to defend themselves. Are you mice or men? Why are you inflating small things all out of proportion, while ignoring the big things? Are you not “straining at a gnat while swallowing a camel,” and “pointing at the mote in another’s eye while ignoring the plank in your own”?

To return to the subject of football, I am disgusted by the failure of sports reporters to even mention, as a possible excuse, the expansion and contraction of gas in a ball relative to temperature. A true investigative reporter would do an experiment with a football, measuring the pressure indoors at 78° and outdoors at 42°. Only a fool cares more about fostering doubt and rabble rousing, inflating things to sell papers.

If reporters cannot answer this simple challenge I can only assume they are not real men with real wives, but are the sort of quasi-man who sleeps with an inflated doll.

 (PS: What am I going to do? I simply will refuse to listen to sports reporters, in the two weeks between now and the Superbowl. They produce a pound of hype for each crumb of decent analysis, and why should I waste my time on fools who are focused on making discord? Instead I’ll listen to Beethoven, and listen to a man who was focused on making harmony.) (A deaf man could hear more Truth than a reporter with 20-20 vision can see.)

(Note: Despite my resolve to avoid this topic, I was sucked into further discussion of the science behind what can change the pressure in footballs at:  https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/brady-and-belichick-a-genuine-witch-hunt/ )